On balance, some things are lost

On balance, the new consensus is probably better.

On balance.

But still, I question the wisdom of prohibition on dating anyone who you’ve ever known or might know professionally, as the modern consensus seems to be arriving at. Because it seems to be creeping towards you shouldn’t date anyone you actually know in any sphere of life, or if you’re a man, anyone that you meet in public (as then you resemble a harasser*), or that you might have potentially had some kind of nebulous and probably non-existent power advantage over at any time.

Not everyone wants to use Tinder or PlentyOfFish.

To be completely honest if I were a college professor, the chance that I’d date one of my students (especially if we were close in age range) is nearly 100%. Perhaps not while she is in my class, and it’d not be something I seek out, but I can’t see how I’d even avoid that as I simply don’t care about such institutional prudery when more important things are at stake and never will. I’m fully willing to accept my non-compliance with the rules, and always have been. (By way of anecdote, of the four college professors I’ve known in my life, all four have dated students or former students. Two of the professors were women.)

The company I work for full-time is German, and they specifically do not have prohibitions of dating co-workers because many, many people in Germany meet their SOs on the job. The only prohibition is that you can’t date your direct boss while he/she is your manager.

Anyway, speaking on a more general level you just can’t coop up a few hundred people with high similarity and mutual admiration where they interact all the time and…expect them not to interact. Human nature just does not, will not, and cannot work that way. It is just impossible. Completely so.

But people — mostly men — take advantage of that. Exert their power. Harass. Rape. That is obviously happening. And it’s terrible for the (mostly) women involved.

The problem is that I’m quite sure that you can’t legislate human attraction. You can try, but oh you are going to fail so hard. So very hard.

So like I said, on balance the modern consensus that you shouldn’t be attracted to anyone you actually know (especially in a professional context) is probably better.

But what a restrictive world we’re building for ourselves. It’s probably worth it, as harassment and rape is so heinous. But it’s not a nice one, or a pretty one, or a very desirable one, especially for those who don’t like online meat market dating only.

*Yes, I know men have made the world worse. But for men who are not harassers, rapists, and similar, it also makes life very hard for them.